Contador eyes August return

2012-04-17 16:56

Madrid - Spanish cyclist Alberto Contador said on Tuesday that he hopes to make his comeback from a two-year doping ban at the Tour of Benelux in August.

The week-long Tour of the Low Countries - known officially as the Eneco Tour - begins on August 6, the very day that Contador's ban comes to an end.

Contador told Spanish radio station Cadena Cope that he also plans to take part in the Clasica de San Sebastian on August 14 before racing in the Tour of Spain in September.

"I will probably return before (the Clasica de San Sebastian) at the Eneco Tour," he said.

"For the first time, I can say for sure that I will be at the Tour of Spain."

Contador added that he is targeting a place in the Spain team at September's World Championships in the Netherlands and would like to compete in both the road race and the time trial.

"I would like to do both. In the time trial there are some steep slopes that I think could favour me, while in the road race there might be some riders who are better prepared than me," he said.

The 29-year-old reiterated that he had "lost confidence in sporting justice" after the two-year ban handed to him by the Court of Arbitration for Sport and also that he intends to race for Team Saxo Bank, despite reported interest from as many as six other teams, including Spanish outfit Movistar.

"My first priority is Saxo Bank. They have supported me unconditionally throughout knowing everything that happened," Contador said.

"Both the manager and the sporting director have been fantastic, and that means a lot. I couldn't give a value to the support they have given me and that is why I can't see my future being anywhere other than Saxo Bank."

The rider was banned for testing positive for the anabolic steroid clenbuterol at the 2010 Tour de France.

He blamed his positive test on a contaminated steak that he ate during that year's Tour, one of three editions of the race that he won.

He was stripped of the 2010 Tour victory and the ban means he will not be able to compete at this year's Olympics.